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Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jun 13, 2016 @ 10:05 AM | 895 Views
It took some time, but I managed to collect the necessary items for a new building surface. Like Piper Joe (thanks, Joe), I purchased a few ceiling tiles and used masking tape to join them. I also used masking tape to seal the edges. The tiles are sitting on top of a panel board that ensures a flat surface.

With the new building surface in place I was able to resume building the Kadet. My first task was to use a combination of different razor blades to carefully remove the TE from the wing. The TE showed a slight uptick at the back due to the concave shape of my old building board. Last night I pinned the wing to the board and re-glued the TE back into place.

You can also see an AMA Dart in the corner that is getting a new motor stick after four years of faithful service.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Apr 11, 2016 @ 08:35 AM | 1,809 Views
The Kadet's wing panel fills my 36" building board. I pinned down the lower spars and too quickly test fit the ribs and trailing edge. But when I began gluing in the ribs, I found that my building board has multiple warps in it and the surface I was building on is progressivity concave. As a result, the front and back of the ribs sit on the board, but about halfway down the board the spars pined to it begin to move away from the notch in the ribs. Fortunately, I'm building with Titebond glue, so I had enough time to unpin the spars and pin them to the ribs, rather than the board. I stopped building there.

Later, I placed the wing on the flat surface of our kitchen island and felt relieved to find it is fairly straight. My chief concern was that the trailing edge would have a slight upward tilt, but this doesn't appear to be the case.

The obvious next step is order a nice new 48" building board, but Tower and Guillows appear to have stopped selling them.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Mar 10, 2016 @ 07:44 AM | 1,669 Views
Four recent builds ready for the 2016 flying season: Thayer Syme’s Randolph Observer built from a free Fly R/C plan, 1/2A Berkley Brigidier built from a plan I found on Hip Pocket Aeronautics, the Herr Aquastar, and a Guillow’s Cessna 180.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Mar 09, 2016 @ 07:38 AM | 1,744 Views
Unseasonably warm weather means the kids are out tossing gliders and rubber powered models around. I worked up an 8” Sweepette from plans available on Hip Pocket Aeronautics.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Mar 07, 2016 @ 07:59 AM | 1,824 Views
In Dave Thornburg’s book about the history of aero modeling he tells a story about Duke Fox handing out Berkley model kits at a Nats and promising a new Fox .35 to the first person to finish building their kit.

I’d never be in line to win the engine from Fox.

The completed Aquastar weighs a portly 11.7 ounces. The advertised weight is 19 ounces, but that was in the day of heavier radios and a Norvel .061 atop the pylon. I’ll have to wait for warmer weather to say whether it will ROW.

Next up…a Prairie Bird followed by a Sig Kadet Senior.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Mar 05, 2016 @ 10:42 PM | 2,203 Views
The pylon was easier to cover than I had feared. In fact, I spent more time placing holes in the plywood that hold the tip floats in place, than I did covering the pylon.

I used a short piece of fuel tubing to close the hole where the motor wires enter the wing.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Mar 02, 2016 @ 08:47 AM | 1,916 Views
Finished covering the floats, now on to the covering the compound curves of the pylon.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Feb 29, 2016 @ 08:01 AM | 2,122 Views
The tip floats have two coats of dope on them, and it is a good thing too, because their oddball shape requires covering them in multiple pieces, which results in a lot of potentially leaky seams.

I've decided to tackle a Sig Kadet Senior after completing the Aquastar. My kit is from the late 1970's, and while the plans are discolored and nibbled through in a few places, the wood looks terrific. Last night I took a minute to read over the instruction manual and discovered a promotional T Shirt ad on the back; Dear Sig, please reissue this T-Shirt. It is a GEM.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Feb 21, 2016 @ 03:43 PM | 2,410 Views
Completed the CC-01 this weekend with 18 ball bearings, front and rear locked differentials, 45T motor, stroke extension kit, and aluminum oil filled shocks. Sadly, the rain will keep us from taking it to the Capital Crescent Trail for an inaugural run today.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Feb 17, 2016 @ 10:02 AM | 2,039 Views
I have given some thought to making holes in the pylon and the tip floats, but I think I'll leave them as they are. There isn't much plywood to drill through on the tip floats and their combined weight is only 7 grams. The pylon could probably accommodate a hole through it, but I've already left off the two balsa "sandwich" sides that were to go on it.

Now that the tip floats are built, the Aquastar will be set aside for a warm day when I can sand and dope the remaining parts. Sanding the tip floats in the basement reminded me why I am waiting to sand the wing outside.

I'm waiting for the same warm day to paint the Land Cruiser and the Sand Scorcher. In the meantime, I may begin building the Sig Kadet Senior that I have stashed away...or I may build the Prairie Bird I just ordered from Peck.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Feb 15, 2016 @ 06:01 PM | 2,110 Views
I'm building the tip floats stock. The only change is 1/32" sheet rather than 1/16".

I also trimmed the top off the pylon's center piece believing it will save a little something in weight.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Feb 15, 2016 @ 11:54 AM | 2,223 Views
Five inches of snowfall are a good excuse to spend time in the workshop. I'm using it to repair my mini telemaster wing, which suffered a few cracked ribs at the hands of a five year old. I've also painted the roof on my CC-01 Land Cruiser. Next up, the Aquastar's tip-floats...
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Feb 01, 2016 @ 07:35 AM | 2,707 Views
Not too shabby in terms of weight. We'll see what the wing, pylon, and motor add later.

For now, I'm going to step away from the Aquastar and begin assembling my Tamiya CC01 Land Cruiser.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 30, 2016 @ 09:56 PM | 4,230 Views
I've deviated from the plans here and there on this build so it isn't clear why I followed the supplement that directed me to cover the model and the chines before joining the two. "Cut a slit into the hull and glue the rails" isn't what I'll do if given the chance to complete this task again. It would have be far easier to cover around the chines than making an accurate slit along the hull. All that said, it's behind me.

Next up...the tail feathers.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 27, 2016 @ 09:37 PM | 2,561 Views
Doped, covered, and glued to the fuselage.

The triangles are from Aero Crafters in NY. I understand they're gone and I'm sorry to hear that. Does anyone know what became of them?
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 25, 2016 @ 10:40 PM | 3,077 Views
Covered to fuselage today...
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 24, 2016 @ 09:34 PM | 2,909 Views
I doped the pushrods this afternoon and began covering the tail. This is my first experience covering with top flite econo cote. It's heavy and it shrinks too aggressively for my taste, but it's waterproof.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 23, 2016 @ 08:48 PM | 2,791 Views
I'm using the old balsa stick pushrod trick to reduce weight. I'm also routing the pushrods out the top of the fuselage rather than on the sides, as the plan calls for. That seemed like an invitation for water entering the fuselage unnecessarily.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 23, 2016 @ 11:33 AM | 3,115 Views
The silver lining to the snow storm is that it has provided me with some time to resume building. This morning I worked on the pylon.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 12, 2016 @ 07:12 AM | 2,815 Views
The plan supplement calls for rather short chines. I'm taking a cue from the folks who have done this before me and extending the chines from the step to the bow. I'm also tinkering with the idea of making them wider - although I have to weigh (ha!) the possible advantages of wider chines against the additional drag they'll produce in the water.